Kiel Week is the largest sailing event in the world. It happens every year around the end of June in Kiel, Germany. Sailing is a big part of the festival but eating and drinking are also a very large part of the festival. For the first time this summer Brooklyn Brewery was able to be a part of the festivities. Our buddy John came to the Brooklyn Brewery and explained his eagerness to showcase NYC style hamburgers and good American beer at the festival in his burger stand and he thought Brooklyn Brewery was the best fit, so we decided to join in on the fun. Turns out Germans really like burgers and beer. It ended up being a huge success. There are now several hundred Germans who have a new respect for American beer because they tried Brooklyn Brewery beer at Kiel Week. They ended up selling about 4000 burgers and over 500 bottles of Brooklyn Brewery beers out of their little burger stand. Fingers crossed that I can make it out to the festival next year to try these infamous burgers and wash it down with a Brooklyn Lager.
When I landed in Stockholm for Brooklyn, Sweden it really hit me how awesome my job is as the Export Coordinator for the Brooklyn Brewery and why my colleagues had been so mad at me for the past week. I was about to be part of a Brooklyn invasion in Sweden along with 15 Brooklyn bands, a Brooklyn inspired food menu and a sweet lineup of Brooklyn Brewery beers all hosted by our buddies at Debaser.
Brooklyn, Sweden proved to be quite a unique music festival on all fronts. We will start with the beer and food menu. The beer menu included Brooklyn Brewery beers that Sweden does not normally have including Monster Ale from 2007, Sorachi Ace, and that beer that does not exist anywhere even made the trip across. We also paired these beers with the food menu at Debaser which was specially created for Brooklyn, Sweden. Everyone talked about how good the Brooklyn, Sweden food menu was and how excited they were to have such a great Brooklyn Brewery beer selection, typically an afterthought at a music festival. At 4PM on the first day I saw several people go to straight to the bar and order a Sorachi Ace before the band started.
Then there was the artist lunch. It was not your average pre-show band grub. Candles were lit, white table clothes with proper place settings, and the proper fancy glasses for our beer. The bands were served the special Debaser Brooklyn, Sweden menu with the Brooklyn Brewery beer pairing. I have never seen such quiet and polite girls devour so much food as quickly as Prince Rama did. They devoured all four courses in less than an hour and proceeded to put on one of the most energetic and aerobic shows I have ever seen. It was quite impressive.
The feedback from the festival goers was extremely positive. One person told me he had flown from an army base five hours away to see Twin Sister and have some Brooklyn Brewery beer. Another woman told me it was one of the best festivals she had ever gone to.
I think we all came away from Brooklyn, Sweden like we had experienced something special together, like students who just got back from summer camp. It was apparent by the conversations that this was more than just a festival. We brought Brooklyn to Sweden the best way we know how with food, beer, music, and spread the love the Brooklyn way. All I could think about on the plane ride back was when is the Brooklyn, Sweden after party?
My trip to Brazil proved to be quite a success. The main purpose was to attend one of the biggest craft beer events in Brazil, Beer Day in Curitiba and learn about the growing craft beer market. Beer Day had quite a selection of craft brews from local brewers, home brewers, and international breweries like Brooklyn Brewery. The styles of beer ranged from mild lagers to intense imperial stouts and IPA’s. I was impressed with all of the different styles and variations and what is happening in the beer world in Brazil. There were food trucks selling food from around the globe including kebabs, bratwurst, jambalaya, and the Brazilian version of an empanada “Pastéis”. “Curitibans” I was told, are really into rock music so the local bands at the festival played a lot of indie rock, covered some classic rock, as well as a healthy amount of grunge (they apparently really like Pearl Jam). Beer Day was much like a craft beer festival in Brooklyn and, despite the rain, it was a lot of fun.